3 ways to bring more freedom to your freelance business (without sacrificing income)

Mar 9, 2018

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.

Do you want the freedom to:

• Work with whom you want?

• Work when you want?

• Work the hours you want?

• Work where you want?

• Charge how much you want?

• Grow as much as you want?

Did you say "yes" any (or all) of the above, yet your reality tells quite a different story?

Perhaps you’re making great money, but you work ALL the time. Or maybe you work all the time, and still don’t make the money you desire.

If either of these rings true, it’s possible you’ve got caught in that oh-so-easy-trap of working IN your business, rather than ON it.

The good news is we can all turn things around at any time if we’re prepared to shift our mindset and take inspired and consistent action. If that sounds good, I’d like to share three ways to bring the freedom you want into your life and business, without sacrificing income.

1) Identify where you should be spending your time

Have you ever run around all day (or week or month), only to wonder what you achieved at the end of it?

Creating a mind map is the first step in identifying where you should be spending your time, so you maximize money-generating opportunities and minimize unnecessary crap. You can do this with a pen and piece of paper, or it you like it to be digital (and pretty) as I do, I’d recommend Coggle.

Here’s how you do it:

• Write your name/business name at the center of your map. As thoughts come to mind, draw branches from the central point and write them down (in as few words as possible). For example, your branches might be: design, website, branding, marketing, speaking, and networking.

• Now create sub-branches, each being an action you need to take. For example, action items for your website might include: Interview and get quotes from three web designers/programmers; work on "About" page copy; create services and/or packages; sign up for online calendar; book head shots.

• Once your brain is deliciously empty, assign a priority-based number to each branch. And here’s the trick—assign the priority based upon what will BRING INCOME INTO YOUR BUSINESS MOST QUICKLY. Now, take action on your sub-branches. Every. Single. Day. When the task is complete, move onto the next priority.

2) Only work with ideal clients

Just so we’re clear, ideal clients are those who love what you do, respect your process, and happily pay what you’re worth. After 15 years in creative management and seven years as a business coach, I can unequivocally say that the cheapest clients are always the ones who make your life most miserable and ask the most of you. Create your ideal client profile, let go of the clients who no longer serve you, and watch your life and business exponentially improve.

3) Outsource everything you can afford to

One of the challenges my clients face as they grow their businesses is getting stuck doing everything themselves (and getting burned out in the process). Happily, you don’t need to be a fully-fledged business, complete with a full staff, to get the help you need. Here are some ways to create the space and freedom you need to do your own brilliant thing.

Write a list of everything you do on a daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly basis. Include everything from bookkeeping and accounting to design layout and marketing. Now, go through the list and put a star by everything you hate to do/are not good at. Which of these tasks could someone else do just as well, if not better than you?

For example, I’m re-launching my online course again in April. While I understand the fundamentals of Facebook ads, LeadPages, and Mailchimp, they're not my greatest strengths. My choice is to either devote WAY too much time to figuring them out—or pay other people who ARE brilliant at these tasks to do them for me faster and better than I could. In the meantime, I can focus on MY unique brilliance: Delivering a course that helps people like you build a better creative business. I’ll take option two please. I would highly recommend that you find a great virtual assistant. Mine is worth her weight in gold.

What action will you take today to bring more freedom to your business?

Justine Clay is a speaker and business coach for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. Through a series of clear, actionable steps, Justine will teach you how to you identify what makes you stand out from the crowd, create a marketing message that resonates with your ideal clients, and build a successful and fulfilling creative business or career. Sign up for Justine’s free guide: How to Find High-Quality Clients and Get Paid What You’re Worth and start making monumental changes in your creative business or career today.

Justine Clay

Justine Clay is a speaker and business coach for creative entrepreneurs and freelancers. Sign up for her free guide: How to Find High-Quality Clients and Get Paid What You’re Worth, above.